Russian oil cap will be “source of uncertainty”: Moscow

MOSCOW (AFP): A plan by the G7 nations to cap Russian oil prices in the wake of Moscow’s military operations in Ukraine will sow “uncertainty” on the global market, Russia’s deputy energy minister said Monday.

“We shall examine how the market situation will evolve because there are many uncertainties” not least regarding “the declaration by G7 leaders regarding capping of the price of Russian oil,” Alexander Novak said following a video conference call with OPEC+ countries.

“We have agreed to continue meeting on a monthly basis in order to propose the most rational solutions for the market,” Novak added in remarks carried by state news agency TASS.

On Friday the G7 nations — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — indicated they would seek as a matter of urgency to bring in a cap on Russian oil exports in order to limit Moscow’s profits as it prosecutes its campaign against Ukraine.

The G7 members have already limited or suspended their Russian petroleum purchases.

But for the plan to be effective, other countries will have to take part — particularly big countries like India and China which are some of Russia’s most important clients.

The plan prompted a strong reaction from the Kremlin with spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying such a move would “destabilise” the market.

Novak had warned last Thursday that Russia would no longer supply countries applying the cap.

The OPEC+ oil cartel, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, agreed earlier Monday to cut production for the first time in more than a year in a bid to lift prices which have tumbled on global recession fears.

The move could irk the United States as it has pressed the group to increase output in order to bring down energy prices that have fuelled decades-high inflation.

The 13 OPEC members and their ten allies agreed to return to their production level of August, meaning a reduction in output of 100,000 barrels per day in October based on September.

Novak said he viewed that decision as in line with “the current situation.”